‘Arrow’ 1×18 Photo Recap: “Salvation”

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This week’s episode of Arrow was chock-full of chase scenes, broken-down doors, and unresolved family trauma. It might not have been as consistent and well put-together as last week’s gem of an episode, but it was still pretty solid. Thumbs-up: Colton Haynes’ puppy dog eyes, Laurel’s wishbone necklace, shirtless pull-ups. Thumbs-down: Laurel’s mom (even though Alex Kingston is a goddess), Moira and Frank Chen’s Double Indemnity subplot. (RIP Frank.) But back to the part about shirtless pull-ups…

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(I’m sorry. I couldn’t help myself.)

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This unsavory criminal was having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day, paying his dues for decades’ worth of bad life choices:

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Because you know you’re in trouble when your biggest problem isn’t that some guy in green eye makeup is coming to your house to point sharp objects at your face and speak very sternly to you.

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Oliver was pretty upset that someone had already beaten him to the punch (literally) with this particular scoundrel. I mean, the guy doesn’t have a lot going on in his life. Once you take away his viridescent quest for revenge, all he has left is his shirtless pull-ups and his weekly Yahtzee games with Dig. (Which, let’s face it, Dig dominates.)

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Oh how quickly the tables can turn. Note to future victims of Green Arrow: just get someone scarier to kidnap you and the Hood will come save you instead. Actually, after seeing what happens to this dude, you might want to rethink that plan.

Back on Flashback Island, a pre-six-pack Oliver and his lover were plotting a rather poorly executed plan to escape the island by extorting Captain Schnoz. If I’m being honest, I didn’t really get into the Flashback storyline. We know they’re not getting off the island anytime soon, so who cares? Unless there are polar bears and cage sex involved, I really don’t. The only thing more annoying than Oliver’s flashback hair is his pouty-face. OH MY GOD WE GET IT. You were a super annoying manchild with no survival skills, and you somehow became this magnificent masterpiece of a human being (emotional issues not withstanding). But yeah, there were way more exciting things happening this week than Pouty-face and Roid Rage on Brokeback Island. Specifically this:

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Ah, to be young and beautiful and lacking any semblance of parental supervision. Things were getting pretty steamy with Thea and Roy (Rea? Thoy?) until some sketchy guy came by to interrupt their makeout session and drop off a not-at-all-suspicious package for Roy.

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Looks like attraction to bad boys runs in the family. Just ask her older sister, Marissa Cooper. Whoops—sorry, for a second I forgot which show I was watching. (But seriously, remember when Willa Holland played Kaitlin Cooper on The O.C.? Good times.) Anyway, she made the smart decision to storm out angrily, displaying her disapproval of Roy’s horrendously bad judgment. I mean, come on bro—you can’t have the girl and keep your life of crime. Did you learn nothing from The O.C.?

Laurel came home to find her parents working together in a disconcertingly cheery manor, tracking down her supposedly dead sister.

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While Dig and Oliver were enjoying a nice post-Yahtzee meal together, the restaurant they were at suddenly became abuzz with people watching a creepy video stream of some scumbag being threatened by a vengeful narrator describing how he had wronged Starling City. Sound familiar?

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And cue episode one of Oliver impatiently berating Felicity while she tried to work her techno-magic to help save the day. Seriously, I know it’s hard to be stuck waiting helplessly while some guy is about to be murdered, but when did yelling at someone ever make them track a GPS signal faster? Work on your people skills, Oliver.

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In much less interesting news, Moira and Frank had a secret meeting under the cover of darkness umbrella. They discussed how very effed they were, and tried to come up with a plan using terms like, “shell corporation,” and “off-shore accounts,” so you knew they were for serious about their espionage.

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And that’s about all the attention span I have for that doomed subplot.

Thea went to see the expert in dating emotionally unavailable men with criminal tendencies: Laurel. Of course, she was totally understanding and responsive to Thea’s attempt at lady bonding.

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But before Thea could buy a ski mask and go full-on Bonnie and Clyde, Laurel got her head out of her ass long enough to give Thea some great advice: run.

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Is anyone else really excited for the day when Roy Harper becomes Oliver’s superhero sidekick, and these ladies can bond over having perpetually absent, hood-clad boyfriends? (As you probably know, Roy Harper is a character from the Green Arrow comic books. And if you didn’t already know this, you probably suspected it, because why else would a hot guy on The CW be named “Roy”?)

After being yelled at by Oliver for a few hours, Felicity was finally able to pinpoint a location for the guy whose murder was about to be broadcast live on the Internet. Little did Oliver realize that the biggest enemy he would face in this episode would be…doors. He must have kicked down at least seven of them in his search for Random Sleazebag #2.

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Oliver vs. Doors: Round 1 goes to Oliver. But when he made it through every floor and got to the empty roof, he found that there was no one there. Felicity gave him the new location, and Oliver decided that he really didn’t want to deal with all those stairs again:

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One fire escape, two fences, and the roof of a mack truck later, Oliver ended up at a construction site, which was noticeably lacking of any homicidal videographers. Defeated, Oliver returned to the lair where poor Felicity was wallowing in guilt after witnessing a murder she wasn’t able to prevent.

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I’m not gonna lie; I’m loving the whole flirty we-only-have-each-other thing these two have going on. But of course, Oliver is right—the people he loves always seem to be in danger.

While we’re on the subject of Oliver’s past loves and their doomed nature, Laurel was about lay down some tough love on her delusional parents.

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Damn Laurel, that was cold. I mean, I know it was out of the goodness of her heart that she did it, but still. That was rough. Granted, I’m saying this as someone who still thinks Sarah Lance is still alive. Why else would they have a fake she’s-still-alive plot? To throw us off the scent, of course! Or maybe it was so they could reveal that Mrs. Lance knew that Sarah was going to take that ill-fated boat trip with her sister’s boyfriend. She tried to stop Sarah, but ultimately didn’t try that hard. All this was brought to light by the fact that Mrs. Lance knew that Sarah had taken a particular baseball cap with her, which Laurel noticed and picked at until it all came spilling out. So kudos to Laurel for her uncanny ability to latch on to seemingly insignificant details in a crisis and use them to unlock years of emotional trauma. And Mama Lance—way to pour salt on a five-year-old wound.

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While Laurel was reliving the heartbreak that comes with loving a bad boy, Thea went to see Roy to try to talk some sense into him. But before she could stop him, someone else did:

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Seriously? What is with this kid and syringes? Poor guy can’t catch a break. And this time Thea didn’t even have a chance to use her magic lips to distract him from his fear of needles. She was understandably upset by the abduction of her boyfriend and the fact that he was about to be shot on streaming video. Naturally she ran to Oliver, who sprang into action. And by “action,” I mean continuing his role of standing around impatiently and yelling at his friends until they got s**t done so he could shoot at people. (Oliver’s not very good at being on the sidelines, it would seem.)

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OH SNAP. Way to come through with the obscure historical knowledge, Dig. So Oliver headed down into the subway tunnels, but not until after he’d stopped to apply some waterproof eye shadow. He found Roy in a subway car with the only-slightly-more-extreme-than-Oliver psychopath that was about to kill him.

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Sure enough, Roy went to see Thea at the club, announcing his arrival—and thereby confirming his continued existence—via text message.

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I seriously can’t get enough of his face. Is that a weird thing to say? Probably.

Back in the flashback world, the only really interesting development was the revelation that Yao Fei’s daughter is a total badass.

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So the flashback story wasn’t a total waste. But whatevs. In other less-important-plotline news (read: not involving Colton Haynes’ face, Oliver’s abs, or Felicity’s wit), Moira totally backstabbed Frank and he got super murdered. I gotta say, I rather liked Frank. You’ll be missed, buddy.

Speaking of sadness, Oliver was having a tough time accepting his newfound singledom, knowing that dating anyone would only bring them pain and danger. Unless that person was already in danger by his or her association with him and his extracurricular activities… So he could date Dig or Felicity. I’m totally fine with either of those options.

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In summary… Sarah Lance is alive! No, wait—she’s dead. Or is she…? Frank Chen is definitely dead. Roy Harper is this much closer to embracing his destiny as a superhero sidekick. Yao Fei’s daughter is a total BAMF. And Laurel is really good at making her mom cry. (Which she kind of deserves, because, come on, what kind of mother stands by while one of her daughter’s steals the other one’s boyfriend?) Also, MAPS! The moral of this story is, it’s only okay to threaten and/or torture criminals if you do it with a bow and arrow instead of a gun and a video camera.

What did you think of Oliver’s surprisingly extreme reaction to this other vigilante? Do you think Sarah is still alive? Did Tommy have his tonsils removed, or is there some other reason he only had one line in this whole episode? Should we start a new drinking game where you take a shot every time Oliver kicks down a door? Share your thoughts below!

-L

*All images are property of The CW

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Posted on March 29, 2013, in Arrow Photo Recaps, Television and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Something tells me you’re looking forward to next week’s episode, where by “something” I mean “having read your Fringe photo recaps and knowing which villain is coming back next week.”

    • I think it’s possible that I might implode from excitement when I try to photo recap ‘Arrow’ with Seth Gabel. We’ll see if I can form semi-coherent thoughts after watching next week’s episode…

  1. Pingback: Pop Culture Nexus’ Top 10 Most Popular Articles of 2013 | Pop Culture Nexus

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